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9 killed in Karnataka rain fury, normal life hit

Bengaluru: At least nine people were killed and several others injured due to heavy rains and floods in 12 northwest and coastal districts of Karnataka, an official said on Thursday.

“Of the 9 rain-related deaths, 6 were in Belagavi, 2 in Uttara Kannada and one in Shivamogga. About 50 cattle also perished or washed away in flood waters,” the official told IANS.

With the southwest monsoon peaking, incessant rains severely disrupted normal life in the affected districts, as schools and colleges, markets and offices were shut and thousands of people stranded due to damage to road and rail network in the region.

“Nearly 44,000 people have been evacuated from 51 flood-hit taluks, with about 40,180 from Belagavi alone. Of them 16,875 are sheltered in 272 relief camps across the affected districts,” said the official citing spot reports.

Though the copious rains have filled ponds, lakes, reservoirs and dams in the catchment areas, flooding and excess waters in the fields damaged a whopping 1,48293 hectares of farm lands, with Belagavi being the worst hit as crop loss was in 1,36,529 hectares of land.

The affected districts are Belagavi, Bagalkot, Bijapur (Vijayapura), Raichur and Yadigir in the northwest region and Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu and Uduipi in the coastal area and Chikkamagaluru, Hassan and Shivamogga in the Malnad region in the central parts of the state.

“Camping at Belagavi since Wednesday on return from Delhi, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa visited some of the worst villages and towns in the northwest and reviewed rescue and relief works, including relief camps and gruel centres for the evacuated and sheltered people,” said the official.

According to the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Management Centre, coastal and Malnad districts received very heavy rains since Monday, leading to flooding in several villages and towns due to overflowing of water from lakes, tributaries and rivers, which are in spate due to heavy discharge from southern Maharashtra.

“Moderate to heavy rains are forecast till Sunday across the southern state as the monsoon is vigorous augurs well for the districts that were drought-hit last year,a added the official.

The rain fury has caused extensive damage to roads, state and national highways, with 1,410km of them and 211 bridges in the affected districts.

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